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Survivors of California's recent wildfires are bracing for the possibility that the utility Pacific Gas and Electric may go into bankruptcy protection by the end of this month. Investigators are looking into whether the company's equipment started the Camp Fire. For victims suing PG&E, a company bankruptcy could impact their compensation. From member station KQED in San Francisco, Lily Jamali has more.

LILY JAMALI, BYLINE: For the last several weeks, California's Butte County has been inundated with TV ads like these.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Survivors of California's recent wildfires are bracing for the possibility that the utility Pacific Gas and Electric may go into bankruptcy protection by the end of this month. Investigators are looking into whether the company's equipment started the Camp Fire. For victims suing PG&E, a company bankruptcy could impact their compensation. From member station KQED in San Francisco, Lily Jamali has more.

LILY JAMALI, BYLINE: For the last several weeks, California's Butte County has been inundated with TV ads like these.

Framed through a narrow crack in an adjacent doorway, the opening scene of The Heiresses, a subtle and perceptive character study from Paraguay, plays out from the perspective of a middle-aged woman as strangers pick their way through her dining room. Many of the items are for sale, due to a financial crisis that's threatening her upper-class lifestyle, and the first-person camera seems to quake with anxiety.

Although it's about the Warsaw Ghetto, nearly all of whose inhabitants were murdered, Who Will Write Our History is a tale of survival. So it's fitting that the documentary begins with the 1946 return to Warsaw of Rachel Auerbach, who was among the one percent of Polish Jews the Nazis didn't manage to kill between 1939 and 1945.

Iran's foreign ministry is calling for the immediate release of an American-born journalist who works for an Iranian state broadcaster and who is believed to have been detained in the U.S.

"The custody of Iran's reporter in the U.S. is highly political and she should be released immediately," Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted as saying by the Islamic Republic News Agency.

Less than a week after hundreds of Christian protesters descended on the Haifa Museum of Art, clashing with police in a demonstration against a controversial sculpture, the Israeli city's mayor says the object of their outrage is getting withdrawn. Einat Kalisch-Rotem announced Wednesday that McJesus, a work of art depicting a crucified Ronald McDonald, "will be removed and returned as soon as possible."

The photograph shows the aftermath of a terrorist attack at a luxury hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. Laptops and plates are still on the table, and four people are hunched over, bloodied and lifeless.

It's impossible to talk about Great Britain these days without talking about Brexit, the United Kingdom's pending departure from the European Union. Of course, it's easier to say you're leaving a longtime partnership than to do it, and two and a half years after the referendum that decided the issue, what leaving means is still unknown.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross, who's off this week.

After years of living and changing in the public eye, it should come as no surprise that DAWN (f.k.a. D∆WN and Dawn Richard) is a survivor. The multi-hyphenated talent has been through the girl-group music machine and label politics to emerge with her artistic freedom intact. From New Orleans, she's a music-industry outlier who confidently occupies — and constantly redefines — her own lane. She's incomparable.

Fighting doesn't have to be about survival. It doesn't even have to be about pride.

At least, this is what Josh Rosenblatt contends in Why We Fight: One Man's Search for Meaning Inside the Ring. He intends to impress that to fight is to know who you are in a very immediate sense. Fighting, as he sees it, is the pursuit of active self-knowledge through self-endangerment, pain and risk. It's about facing and embracing what is dangerous and, in a way, making it beautiful.

Each week, Alt.Latino brings together songs from Latin artists. Through Natti Natasha's ideals on female sexuality to Juanes and Labo Ebratt's stylized vallenato, this week's list lends itself as one not meant to be hidden.

Much-loved poet Mary Oliver died Thursday of lymphoma, at her home in Florida. She was 83. Oliver won many awards for her poems, which often explore the link between nature and the spiritual world; she also won a legion of loyal readers who found both solace and joy in her work.

Popularity is a strange thing. It's distinct from fame; not many of us have first-hand experience with the latter, but we've all seen the former up close. The Internet is collapsing that distinction, but it's also created a new form of popularity. We react to a viral tweet or video, or to the century's first viral short story, the way we once treated our high school's mean girls, with a combination of admiration and criticism: She's so great and she's not so special.

There's a lot to recommend life in a large town or small city, but there's no doubt it can get claustrophobic — familiar faces can get too familiar, and it's hard to blend into the crowd when everyone in the crowd knows who you are.

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Good morning. I'm David Greene with news you're going to hate me for because - welcome to the rest of your day.

(SOUNDBITE OF TOTO SONG, "AFRICA")

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Slingshot: Artists To Watch In 2019

19 hours ago

A new year calls for new discoveries, and 2019 is no different. As part of NPR Slingshot, member stations have chosen a select group of artists who are making this a promising year in music.

Packed with discoveries, our 2019 Artists To Watch list is more than just an unpredictable mix of jazz montages, complex grunge solos and unifying anthems. It's a diverse celebration of artists who've been here all along, but are only now getting to be heard.


The globalization of pop music has been under way for a while now, with the sounds and sensibilities of K-pop, reggaeton and myriad other Latinx styles serving as major sources of fuel.

Russian authorities tolerated the music videos of zombie babushkas and gothic maidens, even as the ghoulish songs racked up millions of hits on YouTube. But when the Moscow-based electronic music duo IC3PEAK ventured into politics with their latest track, "Death No More," trouble began.

'Glass' Is Leaden

19 hours ago

Again and again, in M. Night Shyamalan's Glass — the sequel to 2016's Split, which was itself a stealth sequel to 2000's Unbreakable — there are moments that should, by any reasonable measure, work. In the language of superhero films, they're now-familiar turns of phrase that can be depended upon — and often have been depended upon — to elicit a jolt of adrenaline in the eager viewer.

Updated Thursday at 5:35 p.m. ET

"Hitting a woman for a man is as normal as eating a tortilla from a food stand on the way to work," said Karen Paz, 34, from San Pedro Sula in Honduras, revealing a scar from a burn on her left shoulder. "He wanted to burn my face, but my daughter started screaming when she saw him taking the pan with boiling butter. She pushed him, and so he aimed for the arm instead."

I missed Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. Skipped The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Not that I couldn't use the help! But because I was always a little skeptical — if these books work, why do we need so many of them? Couldn't we all just read one and be sorted? Marianne Power was similarly skeptical, but she also says she found herself, at age 36, convinced her life was in a rut and not quite sure how to climb out of it.

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The Thistle & Shamrock: New Year Sounds

Jan 16, 2019

Get the New Year off to a good musical start as Fiona Ritchie features some brilliant new sounds from Birichin, Kevin Burke and John McCutcheon.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mike Farris is unflinchingly optimistic. You can read it on his Twitter, hear it in his music and feel it in conversation when you talk with him. He can even have a laugh about the name of the band he played in during his 20s while signed to Atlantic Records, The Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies.

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